Public Art Category

Environmental

From earth art and eco-art to land art and healing projects, there are many forms that fit under this heading. Artists utilize natural materials and recycled junk or engage in infrastructure projects and system-based work.

August 13, 2014

Happy City

Charles Montgomery

Although not explicitly about public art, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by journalist Charles Montgomery gives plenty of reasons why we need public art in our cities and where such art should be placed to have the greatest effect. Montgomery makes a compelling case that the cities we have built, especially in the … Read More

Reviewed by Thomas Fisher | Books, Public Art Review

August 1, 2014

Interview with Frances Whitehead: Podcast

Frances Whitehead loves disturbed sites. Once a sculptor with a successful studio practice, Whitehead now uses her artistic expertise to transform abandoned public spaces into places of environmental stewardship and civic engagement. One of her most recent endeavors is working as lead artist for a massive placemaking project in Chicago, where she lives with her husband and fellow artist … Read More

Todd Melby | Featured, Public Art Review

August 1, 2014

Portrait of the Artist as a Leader

Frances Whitehead, lead artist on Chicago’s 606 project, tells Public Art Review about her role and how she got there

On a ragged day at the end of 2014′s rough winter, a Chicago wind nudged around the corners of a few construction trailers parked behind a chain link fence on a vacant lot just off the Kennedy Expressway. At the start of the construction season, there wasn’t much to recommend this shabby and largely forgotten … Read More

July 14, 2014

The Accidental Environmentalist

Mary Jo Aagerstoun, founder of EcoArt South Florida, gives an update on her work

The wet, low-lying landscape of southern Florida is fertile ground for ecological restoration: Many of the area’s natural water systems have been dammed, diked, drained, or polluted; nearby ocean waters face serious environmental threats; and the region is especially vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes and climate change. These critical issues are partly what prompted … Read More

Keith Goetzman | Public Art Review, Shop Talk

July 4, 2014

Artists and Parks

How artists shape our shared spaces

At the Tolt River–John MacDonald Park near Carnation, Washington, artist Elizabeth Conner recently spent six months with staff scientists from King County’s natural resource divisions. Together they monitored fish biology and the water’s movement at a flood plain restoration site. But Conner asked different questions and used different words than the scientists to describe what … Read More

Carolyn Law with Matthew Stadler | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review

June 30, 2014

Made in Taiwan

Environmental art on the Beautiful Island

Portuguese explorers gave Taiwan the name Ilha Formosa (beautiful island) for the striking beauty of its rich, natural landscape. Today, Taiwan—with its bustling, industrialized urban centers—faces the environmental consequences of high population density and the rapid industrialization behind the “Taiwan Economic Miracle” of the past five decades. As in other areas of the world, public … Read More

Elizabeth Wilson | On Location, Public Art Review

June 25, 2014

A Green Way Through

How public artist Vicki Scuri made a new highway more palatable

Sandpoint, Idaho – U.S. Highway 95 is the main north-south route through Idaho. Yet until recently, it slowed to 25 miles per hour in Sandpoint, a small city on the state’s panhandle. Big trucks, often dragging more than one trailer, struggled to make the tight turns through Sandpoint’s historic downtown. Crossing Fifth Avenue on foot … Read More

June 23, 2014

Hardrock Revision

Artists reconsider a mine site in Lake City, Colorado

Public art is a dynamic and expanding endeavor. As art’s concerns adjust to our increasingly complex world, the role of artist is shifting from object maker to problem solver. In the summer of 2011, the Colorado Art Ranch in conjunction with the town of Lake City, Colorado, embraced this definition of public art in the Hardrock … Read More

Linda Wysong | On Location, Public Art Review

June 20, 2014

Interview with Sonja Hinrichsen: Podcast

As a child in Germany, Sonja Hinrichsen was always out playing in nature. Now, the artist—who does site specific art around the world—sees a generation that is becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world. One of her efforts to help reconnect others to environmental stewardship involves creating massive snow drawings on American landscapes. Many of … Read More

Todd Melby | Featured, Public Art Review

June 20, 2014

Gone Tomorrow

Five artists trace evanescent designs into sand and snow

The effort that goes into large-scale projects would seem to demand long-lived rewards. But the artists featured here find their rewards in large-scale works on sand or snow that last as little as an hour or two. Sonja Hinrichsen Sonja Hinrichsen believes the earth is “already terribly cluttered” with human-made “stuff.” Instead of making more, she … Read More